Mauritius: How Mauritius Is The Missing Link For Africa-India's Rising Start-Ups

Last Updated: 13 September 2019
Article by Mahen Govinda

As Africa and India scale up efforts to work together in a burgeoning start-up ecosphere, Mauritius could provide the missing link in this collaboration, says Mahen Govinda, Ocorian Regional Head of Client Services and a panel speaker at the recent Africa-India Entrepreneurship and Investment Forum (AIEIF) in Mauritius.

For many years, traditional investments channeled to emerging markets in Asia and Africa have made Mauritius a hot spot amongst investors. However, a new trend may be in the making as Mauritius positions itself favorably on the Africa-India corridor for start-up capital.

This year's edition of AIEIF pictured the island as a natural connecting point for technopreneurs of both Africa and India, providing them with a space of cultural neutrality. In my view, the pivotal role Mauritius can play goes beyond the ecosystem it has to nurture start-ups and ensure they grow in value. It is also about what the country can do to bridge opportunities and entrepreneurship along this promising Africa-India corridor. In this endeavour, Mauritius as a country culturally close to both India and Africa has an unmatched advantage.

Why is an Africa-India corridor relevant?

The idea that India and Africa will benefit from synergies on start-up initiatives stems from the commonalities they both share. Firstly, they face similar developmental challenges, with a large portion of their population employed in traditional sectors such as agriculture or living off informal jobs. Marketwise, the total GDP of Africa is about that of India. They also have roughly the same population. More importantly, the entrepreneurial-spirited Indian will find in the like-minded African someone he can go into business with.

These similarities are the foundation stones on which start-up initiatives can grow, especially in the tech-driven areas of mobile applications, AI and Fintech, and addressing a wide spectrum of challenges.

In the promotion of a level playing field between India and Africa, angel investors on both sides have a key role. Not only to bring in much needed finance – often from syndicated sources – but they also contribute in terms of knowledge and network, hence further bridging the technological divide. Both Africa and India may also face the same constraint when it comes to the minimum investment ticket size required to attract venture capitalists.

Despite what they have in common, in the area of start-up funding India is far better off than Africa. India's start-up ecosystem attracted some $10.5 billion in 2018, compared with around $725 million for African startups. However, increasing institutional support as well as rising appetite of angel investors lately for Africa could narrow the mismatch. The World Economic Forum has recently launched the Africa Growth Platform to help the continent's community of start-up enterprises grow and compete in international markets.

Japan has also come to the fore in support of Africa's sustainable development. Just in August, the seventh Tokyo International Conference on African Development pledged to focus on investments in innovation and technology. A staple of economic collaboration, bilateral partnership agreements between countries are also making their way into the tech world, as seen with the likes of Alibaba's plans to help Ethiopia boost its digital economy.

Mauritius, the missing link in Africa-India start-up cooperation

While opportunities for collaboration between Africa and Asia abound in the start-up space, so far few success stories have come to fruition, more from the absence of an enabling platform than lack of vision.

Mauritius, on the back of its historical, cultural and political links with both India and Africa is a natural fit to act as a launch pad for Indian start-ups to indigenize applications for Africa as much as for African technopreneurs bringing their innovation to India. For instance, an area of application is that of African-born mobile money deployed in today's cashless India. In the agricultural sector, the potential for relevant indigenization is also huge, with growers in India and Africa facing similar climatic challenges.

In the years to come, one can expect Mauritius will play a growing role in providing the space for such indigenization as well as facilitating start-up and angel investing from India to Africa and vice versa. There is already a number of areas where Mauritius can be useful, namely in protecting IP rights, structuring joint venture agreements and in securing finance.

In the meantime, riding on the technology and innovation wave, the Enterprise Development Board of Mauritius has come up with a Regulatory Sandbox License to cater for technology-driven applications that do not fall under any current legal framework. To follow suit, the banking sector is coming up with breakthrough financing mechanisms in the likes of the State Bank of Mauritius with its Technology Investment Fund.

Over the years, Mauritius has become the preferred platform for Private Equity to Africa. Is it now destined to become the facilitator of choice for start-up investments between Africa and India? Many are hopeful, including Mr. Baljinder Sharma, the initiator and promoter of the AIEIF who moved from India to Mauritius to avail of opportunities in Africa.

Our geographical and cultural proximity to both India and Africa have been instrumental in our role to help companies grow in the emerging markets of Africa and Asia. With decades of experience, Ocorian helps start-ups to structure, grow and increase their enterprise value. View our full range of market entry & expansion services here.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

To print this article, all you need is to be registered on

Click to Login as an existing user or Register so you can print this article.

In association with
Related Topics
Related Articles
Up-coming Events Search
Font Size:
Mondaq on Twitter
Mondaq Free Registration
Gain access to Mondaq global archive of over 375,000 articles covering 200 countries with a personalised News Alert and automatic login on this device.
Mondaq News Alert (some suggested topics and region)
Select Topics
Registration (please scroll down to set your data preferences)

Mondaq Ltd requires you to register and provide information that personally identifies you, including your content preferences, for three primary purposes (full details of Mondaq’s use of your personal data can be found in our Privacy and Cookies Notice):

  • To allow you to personalize the Mondaq websites you are visiting to show content ("Content") relevant to your interests.
  • To enable features such as password reminder, news alerts, email a colleague, and linking from Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to your website.
  • To produce demographic feedback for our content providers ("Contributors") who contribute Content for free for your use.

Mondaq hopes that our registered users will support us in maintaining our free to view business model by consenting to our use of your personal data as described below.

Mondaq has a "free to view" business model. Our services are paid for by Contributors in exchange for Mondaq providing them with access to information about who accesses their content. Once personal data is transferred to our Contributors they become a data controller of this personal data. They use it to measure the response that their articles are receiving, as a form of market research. They may also use it to provide Mondaq users with information about their products and services.

Details of each Contributor to which your personal data will be transferred is clearly stated within the Content that you access. For full details of how this Contributor will use your personal data, you should review the Contributor’s own Privacy Notice.

Please indicate your preference below:

Yes, I am happy to support Mondaq in maintaining its free to view business model by agreeing to allow Mondaq to share my personal data with Contributors whose Content I access
No, I do not want Mondaq to share my personal data with Contributors

Also please let us know whether you are happy to receive communications promoting products and services offered by Mondaq:

Yes, I am happy to received promotional communications from Mondaq
No, please do not send me promotional communications from Mondaq
Terms & Conditions (the Website) is owned and managed by Mondaq Ltd (Mondaq). Mondaq grants you a non-exclusive, revocable licence to access the Website and associated services, such as the Mondaq News Alerts (Services), subject to and in consideration of your compliance with the following terms and conditions of use (Terms). Your use of the Website and/or Services constitutes your agreement to the Terms. Mondaq may terminate your use of the Website and Services if you are in breach of these Terms or if Mondaq decides to terminate the licence granted hereunder for any reason whatsoever.

Use of

To Use you must be: eighteen (18) years old or over; legally capable of entering into binding contracts; and not in any way prohibited by the applicable law to enter into these Terms in the jurisdiction which you are currently located.

You may use the Website as an unregistered user, however, you are required to register as a user if you wish to read the full text of the Content or to receive the Services.

You may not modify, publish, transmit, transfer or sell, reproduce, create derivative works from, distribute, perform, link, display, or in any way exploit any of the Content, in whole or in part, except as expressly permitted in these Terms or with the prior written consent of Mondaq. You may not use electronic or other means to extract details or information from the Content. Nor shall you extract information about users or Contributors in order to offer them any services or products.

In your use of the Website and/or Services you shall: comply with all applicable laws, regulations, directives and legislations which apply to your Use of the Website and/or Services in whatever country you are physically located including without limitation any and all consumer law, export control laws and regulations; provide to us true, correct and accurate information and promptly inform us in the event that any information that you have provided to us changes or becomes inaccurate; notify Mondaq immediately of any circumstances where you have reason to believe that any Intellectual Property Rights or any other rights of any third party may have been infringed; co-operate with reasonable security or other checks or requests for information made by Mondaq from time to time; and at all times be fully liable for the breach of any of these Terms by a third party using your login details to access the Website and/or Services

however, you shall not: do anything likely to impair, interfere with or damage or cause harm or distress to any persons, or the network; do anything that will infringe any Intellectual Property Rights or other rights of Mondaq or any third party; or use the Website, Services and/or Content otherwise than in accordance with these Terms; use any trade marks or service marks of Mondaq or the Contributors, or do anything which may be seen to take unfair advantage of the reputation and goodwill of Mondaq or the Contributors, or the Website, Services and/or Content.

Mondaq reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to take any action that it deems necessary and appropriate in the event it considers that there is a breach or threatened breach of the Terms.

Mondaq’s Rights and Obligations

Unless otherwise expressly set out to the contrary, nothing in these Terms shall serve to transfer from Mondaq to you, any Intellectual Property Rights owned by and/or licensed to Mondaq and all rights, title and interest in and to such Intellectual Property Rights will remain exclusively with Mondaq and/or its licensors.

Mondaq shall use its reasonable endeavours to make the Website and Services available to you at all times, but we cannot guarantee an uninterrupted and fault free service.

Mondaq reserves the right to make changes to the services and/or the Website or part thereof, from time to time, and we may add, remove, modify and/or vary any elements of features and functionalities of the Website or the services.

Mondaq also reserves the right from time to time to monitor your Use of the Website and/or services.


The Content is general information only. It is not intended to constitute legal advice or seek to be the complete and comprehensive statement of the law, nor is it intended to address your specific requirements or provide advice on which reliance should be placed. Mondaq and/or its Contributors and other suppliers make no representations about the suitability of the information contained in the Content for any purpose. All Content provided "as is" without warranty of any kind. Mondaq and/or its Contributors and other suppliers hereby exclude and disclaim all representations, warranties or guarantees with regard to the Content, including all implied warranties and conditions of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, title and non-infringement. To the maximum extent permitted by law, Mondaq expressly excludes all representations, warranties, obligations, and liabilities arising out of or in connection with all Content. In no event shall Mondaq and/or its respective suppliers be liable for any special, indirect or consequential damages or any damages whatsoever resulting from loss of use, data or profits, whether in an action of contract, negligence or other tortious action, arising out of or in connection with the use of the Content or performance of Mondaq’s Services.


Mondaq may alter or amend these Terms by amending them on the Website. By continuing to Use the Services and/or the Website after such amendment, you will be deemed to have accepted any amendment to these Terms.

These Terms shall be governed by and construed in accordance with the laws of England and Wales and you irrevocably submit to the exclusive jurisdiction of the courts of England and Wales to settle any dispute which may arise out of or in connection with these Terms. If you live outside the United Kingdom, English law shall apply only to the extent that English law shall not deprive you of any legal protection accorded in accordance with the law of the place where you are habitually resident ("Local Law"). In the event English law deprives you of any legal protection which is accorded to you under Local Law, then these terms shall be governed by Local Law and any dispute or claim arising out of or in connection with these Terms shall be subject to the non-exclusive jurisdiction of the courts where you are habitually resident.

You may print and keep a copy of these Terms, which form the entire agreement between you and Mondaq and supersede any other communications or advertising in respect of the Service and/or the Website.

No delay in exercising or non-exercise by you and/or Mondaq of any of its rights under or in connection with these Terms shall operate as a waiver or release of each of your or Mondaq’s right. Rather, any such waiver or release must be specifically granted in writing signed by the party granting it.

If any part of these Terms is held unenforceable, that part shall be enforced to the maximum extent permissible so as to give effect to the intent of the parties, and the Terms shall continue in full force and effect.

Mondaq shall not incur any liability to you on account of any loss or damage resulting from any delay or failure to perform all or any part of these Terms if such delay or failure is caused, in whole or in part, by events, occurrences, or causes beyond the control of Mondaq. Such events, occurrences or causes will include, without limitation, acts of God, strikes, lockouts, server and network failure, riots, acts of war, earthquakes, fire and explosions.

By clicking Register you state you have read and agree to our Terms and Conditions